[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory is dependent on activation of the cAMP/Erk/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signal transduction pathway in the hippocampus. Recently, we discovered that adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities undergo a circadian oscillation in the hippocampus and that inhibition of this oscillation impairs contextual memory. This suggests the interesting possibility that the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory depends upon the reactivation of MAPK in the hippocampus during the circadian cycle. A key unanswered question is whether the circadian oscillation of this signaling pathway is intrinsic to the hippocampus or is driven by the master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). To address this question, we ablated the SCN of mice by electrolytic lesion and examined hippocampus-dependent memory as well as adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities. Electrolytic lesion of the SCN 2 d after training for contextual fear memory reduced contextual memory measured 2 weeks after training, indicating that maintenance of contextual memory depends on the SCN. Spatial memory was also compromised in SCN-lesioned mice. Furthermore, the diurnal oscillation of adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities in the hippocampus was destroyed by lesioning of the SCN. These data suggest that hippocampus-dependent long-term memory is dependent on the SCN-controlled oscillation of the adenylyl cyclase/MAPK pathway in the hippocampus.
Journal of Neuroscience 07/2011; 31(29):10640-7. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological role of synaptic zinc has remained largely enigmatic since its initial detection in hippocampal mossy fibers over 50 years ago. The past few years have witnessed a number of studies highlighting the ability of zinc ions to regulate ion channels and intracellular signaling pathways implicated in neuroplasticity, and others that shed some light on the elusive role of synaptic zinc in learning and memory. Recent behavioral studies using knock-out mice for the synapse-specific zinc transporter ZnT-3 indicate that vesicular zinc is required for the formation of memories dependent on the hippocampus and the amygdala, two brain centers that are prominently innervated by zinc-rich fibers. A common theme emerging from this research is the activity-dependent regulation of the Erk1/2 mitogen-activated-protein kinase pathway by synaptic zinc through diverse mechanisms in neurons. Here we discuss current knowledge on how synaptic zinc may play a role in cognition through its impact on neuronal signaling.
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 01/2011; 5:68. · 4.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological role of vesicular zinc at central glutamatergic synapses remains poorly understood. Here we show that mice lacking the synapse-specific vesicular zinc transporter ZnT3 (ZnT3KO mice) have reduced activation of the Erk1/2 MAPK in hippocampal mossy fiber terminals, disinhibition of zinc-sensitive MAPK tyrosine phosphatase activity, and impaired MAPK signaling during hippocampus-dependent learning. Activity-dependent exocytosis is required for the effect of zinc on presynaptic MAPK and phosphatase activity. ZnT3KO mice have complete deficits in contextual discrimination and spatial working memory. Local blockade of zinc or MAPK in the mossy fiber pathway of wild-type mice impairs contextual discrimination. We conclude that ZnT3 is important for zinc homeostasis modulating presynaptic MAPK signaling and is required for hippocampus-dependent memory.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2011; 108(8):3366-70. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine sensitization is produced by repeated exposure to the drug and is thought to reflect neuroadaptations that contribute to addiction. Here, we identify the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-stimulated adenylyl cyclases, type 1 (AC1) and type 8 (AC8), as novel regulators of this behavioral plasticity. We show that, whereas AC1 and AC8 single knock-out mice (AC1(-/-) and AC8(-/-)) exhibit Ca(2+)-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity in striatal membrane fractions, AC1/8 double-knock-out (DKO) mice do not. Furthermore, DKO mice are acutely supersensitive to low doses of cocaine and fail to display locomotor sensitization after chronic cocaine treatment. Because of the known role for the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in cocaine-induced behavioral plasticity and its coupling to calcium-stimulated cAMP signaling in the hippocampus, we measured phosphorylated ERK (pERK) levels in the striatum. Under basal conditions, pERK is upregulated in choline acetyltransferase-positive interneurons in DKO mice relative to wild-type (WT) controls. After acute cocaine treatment, pERK signaling is significantly suppressed in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of DKO mice relative to WT mice. In addition to the lack of striatal ERK activation by acute cocaine, signaling machinery downstream of ERK is uncoupled in DKO mice. We demonstrate that AC1 and AC8 are necessary for the phosphorylation of mitogen and stress-activated kinase-1 (pMSK1) at Ser376 and Thr581 and cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) at Ser133 after acute cocaine treatment. Our results demonstrate that the Ca(2+)-stimulated adenylyl cyclases regulate long-lasting cocaine-induced behavioral plasticity via activation of the ERK/MSK1/CREB signaling pathway in striatonigral MSNs.
Journal of Neuroscience 03/2009; 29(8):2393-403. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cAMP and ERK/MAP kinase (MAPK) signal transduction pathways are critical for hippocampus-dependent memory, a process that depends on CREB-mediated transcription. However, the extent of crosstalk between these pathways and the downstream CREB kinase activated during memory formation has not been elucidated. Here we report that PKA, MAPK, and MSK1, a CREB kinase, are coactivated in a subset of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons following contextual fear conditioning. Activation of PKA, MAPK, MSK1, and CREB is absolutely dependent on Ca(2+)-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity. We conclude that adenylyl cyclase activity supports the activation of MAPK, and that MSK1 is the major CREB kinase activated during training for contextual memory.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Terrestrial vertebrates have evolved two anatomically and mechanistically distinct chemosensory structures: the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Although it has been generally thought that pheromones are detected through the VNO, whereas other chemicals are sensed by the MOE, recent evidence suggests that some pheromones may be detected through the MOE. Odorant receptors in the MOE are coupled to the type 3 adenylyl cyclase (AC3), an enzyme not expressed in the VNO. Consequently, odorants and pheromones do not elicit electrophysiological responses in the MOE of AC3-/- mice, although VNO function is intact. Here we report that AC3-/- mice cannot detect mouse milk, urine, or mouse pheromones. Inter-male aggressiveness and male sexual behaviors are absent in AC3-/- mice. Furthermore, adenylyl cyclase activity in membranes prepared from the MOE of wild-type mice, but not AC3-/- mice, is stimulated by 2-heptanone, a mouse pheromone. We conclude that signaling through AC3 in the MOE is obligatory for male sexual behavior, male-male aggressiveness, and the detection of some pheromones.
Journal of Neuroscience 08/2006; 26(28):7375-9. · 6.91 Impact Factor